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Four Weeks
Warning, the Legislature's on the way back to Sacramento..
[John Campbell] 8/12/05

Because of the nearly on-time budget, the legislature has been in recess for the past four weeks. However, we will reconvene next Monday. As Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) said in 1866, "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." Clemens, by the way, wrote this line while living in San Francisco. So, he was apparently referring not just to any legislature, but the California legislature.

Anyway, when we come back, we have four weeks before we adjourn for the year on September 9th. Here are some of the issues that will be prominent over this four week period:


John Campbell (R-Irvine) is a California State Senator representing the 35th District in Orange County. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Cypress. He can be reached through his Senate website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

1) Special Election: Now that the court has thrown out the redistricting initiative and said that the electricity re-regulation initiative is probably unconstitutional, what will become of the special election? Will it go forward as planned with a smaller set of initiatives? Or will a "deal" be made to avoid the election entirely? Since the deadline for modifying the election appears to be August 18th, this will consume the first week.

2) Once we are beyond that, much discussion will revolve around Senator McClintock and Assemblyman LaMalfa's proposal (I am co-author) to repair the terrible damage done to property rights by the US Supreme Court Decision in Kelo V. New London. This is the case where the court basically ruled that it is OK for the government to use the power of eminent domain to forcibly take your house from you to build a bigger house there for someone else as long as it provides more tax revenue. We need to change the California Constitution to ban this practice. Expect that the Governor will not be silent on this issue either.

3) Another big bill that will be debated is SB 1. This is the so-called "Million Solar Roofs Initiative" of which I am the author. The prospects for passing this incentive to produce 7% of our peak energy load from the environmentally clean and locally sourced sunlight looks good, as long as labor unions do not kill it by insisting that all installations be done with union labor.

4) And, lots of that bad stuff affecting worker's comp and health insurance and the business climate will undoubtedly be debated and probably passed, most of which will face the Governor's veto.
AB 391 (Koretz): This bill would pay unemployment benefits to union workers who are locked out in a labor dispute. Under existing law, workers not working due to strikes and lockouts do not get unemployment. That makes sense. Their "unemployed" condition is essentially voluntary because they are in a pay dispute with their employer. This bill rose out of the recent extended supermarket lockout/strike which nearly broke the unions because they paid out strike benefits to their members. If this were to become law, those locked out/striking workers would instead be paid by the state. This would create an incentive to strike, would exacerbate a financially strapped unemployment insurance fund and would essentially use state funds to subsidize union strikes. Because of the unions control over Democrats in this state, this will pass and the Governor will have to veto it.SB 46 (Alarcon): This is an attempt to get rid of last year's worker's comp reforms. It would replace the market based system with an entirely regulated rate system run by a committee of the Governor, Insurance Commissioner and Attorney General. Two of these three are Democrats right now so this would essentially take worker's comp out of the hands of the Governor. This would put us back to the system that plunged this state into economic malaise in the early 1990s with lots of fraud, huge benefits and government control of rates resulting in no insurers wanting to be in this market. It will pass and I expect the Governor will veto it.

SB 645 (Dunn): This ridiculous bill would spend scarce state money to set up a new commission to study the "forcible Mexican repatriation of 1929-1944." This commission would be called the "Commission on the Unconstitutional Deportation of American Citizens." In addition to the problem of creating another commission when we have too many already, the real purpose of this bill is to encourage a flood of litigation against the state and federal government for "reparations" to the families of those deported to Mexico during this period. This is similar to the other recent trial lawyer supported idea to pay "descendants of slaves" reparations for the offenses of slavery committed prior to 1862. Under this theory, we should open up the statutes of limitations on everything for everyone who thinks they were wronged in a previous life or by people who have been dead for generations. It's nuts and its wrong.

SB 840 (Kuehl): This is a modification of the "Hillary care" proposal of the early 1990s which would put California on a "single payer" health insurance system. Under this bill, it would be illegal to buy or sell private health insurance in California and everyone would be required to be a part of the state-run health system. The state runs so many things so well that I am sure that they would do a great job running our entire health insurance system. Not! Obviously, this is a hugely important bill about which you have not heard much. I expect it will pass (most unions are for it) and I expect the Governor will veto it.

And some quickies: SB 171 (Alquist) would require that all interrogations of murder or violent suspects be taped so that there are more technicalities from which to release people who have committed crimes. SB 769 (Simitian) says it will help the energy crisis by using your money to buy new refrigerators for people in apartments with "limited income.” And SB 385 (Ducheny) bans students learning English from being tested in English. They would have to be tested only in their native language.

So, you can see that the legislature is no different this year than it has been in prior years in terms of bringing you terrible, costly and dangerous legislation. Because of the huge Democrat majorities, Arnold is our main line of defense. Remember that when the LA Times is telling you how bad he is.

It will be a busy period. Thinking of what Mark Twain said, I only hope that we can protect your life, liberty and property for these next four weeks. If we can, you will be safe until next year. CRO



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